Jason Momoa says he was 'starving' and 'completely in debt' after leaving Game of Thrones
These days, Jason Momoa is one of Hollywood's most recognizable and bankable action heroes. But the actor says it wasn't too long ago that he was struggling to make ends meet.
In a new interview with Instyle, Momoa revealed that his exit from Game of Thrones in 2011, after his character was killed off, left him "completely in debt." He struggled to pay the bills at the house he shares with his wife, actress Lisa Bonet, and their two children.
"I mean, we were starving after Game of Thrones," he told the magazine. "I couldn't get work. It's very challenging when you have babies and you're completely in debt."
Having acted since the late '90s, Momoa starred in series like Baywatch: Hawaii, North Shore, and Stargate Atlantis, but playing Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones really put him on the map.
While it seems unfathomable that a huge spotlight like GoT could hurt someone's career, Momoa previously told EW's James Hibberd that playing the Dothraki warlord actually made people assume he couldn't read dialogue or could only play strong, silent warrior roles.
"For a while afterward, a lot of people bagged on me. It hurt me a lot. People thought I didn’t speak English," Momoa recalled. "They didn’t know I was playing a role. I'm nothing like Drogo. I'm like Drogo when I'm being lovey and close to the woman I love and being nice, but his other half is not me. But then everyone fell in love with Drogo when they rewatched the show."
Momoa's luck turned around when he was cast in Justice League as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, and he later fronted his own superhero blockbuster in 2018's Aquaman, which grossed more than $1.1 billion worldwide. Momoa will be staying busy with reprising his lead role in season 2 of Apple TV+'s See, as well as Denis Villeneuve's upcoming film Dune.
Still, the 41-year-old told InStyle he hasn't totally wrapped his head around his success.
Seeing the Dune trailer for the first time this summer, Momoa said, "It was 'Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem,' and I'm just like, 'Oh my God. I can't believe my name was with those names.' I feel like I'm still a kid, freaking out."
Game of Thrones
HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series 'A Song of Ice and Fire.'